The Poison Pie Publishing House presents:

Hebeloma's Abyssal Aria
Hebeloma Crustuliniforme
with illustrations by Julia K. Keffer
(link to main page of score)


February 1, 2022
O! Eurymedusa basked in the pleasure of swimming again in the open sea with the sunlight on her back. She rolled over and felt its golden warmth on her face. Already, the coast of Crete was a hazy, dim blemish on the edge of the horizon. Accustomed to prolonged exertion, the muscles of her legs kicked to a leisurely rhythm as she luxuriated in the utter absence of boundaries, a kind of freedom appreciated best by convicts and others freshly released from lengthy confinement.

written while listening to:  Alexandra Grimal - Nāga, disc 1 (Ovni Records, OVN0002, 2019, France, cdx2,

February 2, 2022
As she floated on her back, Eurymedusa rejoiced in the appearance of a pair of gannets, soaring above the sea as they searched for fish. She regulated her own strokes to the slow, steady beat of their wings. Against the blue sky, they appeared as small, dark silhouettes but in her mind's eye she knew the snow white plumage of their bodies and the span of their black-tipped wings, which exceeded her own height. She felt guilty about her flight from the fisherman. As a way of redemption, she reintroduced herself to the denizens of the surface world with a shy wave of her hand.

written while listening to:  Derek Bailey - Lace (Emanem, 4013, 1996 (rec. 1989), United Kingdom, cd,

February 3, 2022
Eurymedusa supposed that henceforth she would adopt the transient lifestyle of the gannet. Her buoyancy permitted her to float effortlessly. It was true that she had needs, fresh water foremost among them, that could only be fulfilled on land, but these should not be held against her any more than nesting on seaside cliffs is counted against the gannet. In such a case as hers, brief forays from the water could not be regarded as surrender. For a few hours at least, Eurymedusa floated idly on the sea, resolved never to forsake its solemn peace.

written while listening to:  Hans Reichel - Bonobo Beach (FMP, FMP 0830, 1981, Germany, lp,

February 4, 2022
The sun set, as it must, illuminating the horizon in pastel shades of orange. Having emerged from the black depths of the labyrinth, Eurymedusa scarcely regarded the fall of night as darkness. She bathed in star light, an ablution that threatened to strip her spirit from her body, where it might drift among the celestial lights, never more to know the suffering of mortal life. This temptation, sweet as it was, Eurymedusa resisted. She remained content to float on the surface of the sea and observe the reckless wheeling of the cosmos above her.

written while listening to:  Keiji Haino - Nijiumu (PSF Records, PSFD-7, 1990, Japan, cd,

February 5, 2022
On the following morning, Eurymedusa could no longer ignore the needs of the body, if she hoped to retain this form. Still, for one adrift at sea, with no sign of land in sight, she maintained an almost delusional calm. No Minotaur pursued her and the twisting confines of the mine no longer controlled her path. A pod of striped dolphins appeared in the early light. She thought to ask to join their number but they moved far too briskly, making it difficult to attract their attention. Nevertheless, she was cheered by their jubilant acrobatics as they passed.

written while listening to:  Evan Parker - Monoceros (Treader, TrdLP008, 2020 (orig. 1978), United Kingdom, lp,

February 6, 2022
In an attempt to avoid swimming in circles, Eurymedusa headed steadily north, away from Crete. Her progress was slow but she continued to feel purpose in the exertion of her limbs. She came upon a tamarisk tree, uprooted by a storm and carried out to sea. Its crown of feathery leaves formed a mat on the water's surface, beneath which a collection of sardine, shrimp and jellyfish had found shelter. Eurymedusa dismissed the idea of clinging to the trunk. She required no aid to float and her pace was swift compared to the meandering voyage of the tree.

written while listening to:  Steve Lacy featuring Bobby Few & Dennis Charles - The Flame (Soul Note, SN 1035, 1982, Italy, lp,

February 7, 2022
As Eurymedusa made to depart, a loggerhead sea turtle arrived at the tamarisk tree. With glassy black eyes, it leisurely surveyed the residents of the makeshift refuge, before abruptly devouring a jellyfish in several violent bites. It then lost interest and swam off. Eurymedusa followed though the creature veered east of north. After a brief glance, the turtle paid her little mind and maintained a steady pace while keeping close to the surface. When it came up for air, Eurymedusa explained that she must soon find land and politely asked for its guidance.

written while listening to:  Roscoe Mitchell And The Note Factory - This Dance is for Steve McCall (Black Saint, 120150-2, 1993, Italy, cd,

February 8, 2022
From above, the two swimmers made an unlikely pairing, one adorned in a reddish scaled carapace and the other a whisper of a woman garbed in a thin white gown. Their contrasting appearances proved not the greatest difference between them for the elder of the two sought a particular beach on the west side of a secluded island, where she might lay her eggs when the moon next rose. The other, yet a virgin and, moreover, nonplussed by her experiences, harbored no ambition, at this time, to bring new life into the world.

written while listening to:  Wadada Leo Smith's Great Lakes Quartet - The Chicago Symphonies, disc 1: Gold Symphony (TUM Records, TUM BOX 004, 2021, Finland, cdx4,

February 9, 2022
When Eurymedusa first heard the high tide lapping at the beach, she felt a swell of gratitude for the gentle creature who had delivered her to land. She was exhausted and thirsty beyond reckoning but she nevertheless lingered on the moonlit sands to watch the mother scuttle up the shore, dig her pit and deposit her clutch.

The bloom of jellyfish, the nesting of the turtle, the warmth in the night air all suggested midsummer to Eurymedusa. It seemed impossible that she had lost a year to the labyrinth but the surrounding evidence gave little room for argument.

written while listening to:  Ivo Perelman & Aruán Ortiz - Brass and Ivory Tales, disc 3 (Fundacja Słuchaj!, FSR 11|2021, 2021, Poland, cdx9,

February 10, 2022
Eurymedusa next sought fresh water. The island sloped upward as she trod inland, while the beach gave way to forest. Through the trees, a breeze sifted, bearing the scent of salt. She listened for the trickle of a descending stream, but her ears were waylaid by the nocturnal cries of crickets and the brief repeating whistle of a nightjar. She came upon a steep rock face and skirted it, seeking a detour. Small holes pocked the stone surface until a cave mouth, large enough for Eurymedusa to enter, opened. She poked her head inside, where, shielded from the sea breeze, her nose detected moisture of another sort.

written while listening to:  Muhal Richard Abrams - Think All, Focus One (Black Saint, 120 141-2, 1995, Italy, cd,

February 11, 2022
Driven by thirst, Eurymedusa entered the cave, though returning to subterranean darkness so soon after her release weighed heavily on her spirit. She was rewarded when she found a rivulet of fresh water issuing from a crack in the rock and dribbling along a crooked path down the contours of the wall. Leaning forward, she greedily licked the wet stone. In this manner she gradually slaked her parched throat, all the while whispering grateful thanks to whichever god held dominion over this island for providing her with what she regarded as a veritable torrent of blessed water.

written while listening to:  Mary Halvorson's Code Girl - Artlessly Falling (Firehouse 12 Records, FH12-04-08-034, 2020, United States, lpx2,

February 12, 2022
In the darkness of the cave, Eurymedusa reclined against the cool stone. The water slowly gathered at the back of her neck and slipped along curve of her shoulder blade. To her distress, she found a great comfort in the cave, as if she had returned home. She finally allowed her exhaustion to overtake her. Closing her eyes, she instantly fell into a deep slumber, where she chased a dream that bore no more semblance to reality than had her recent sojourn through the sea.

written while listening to:  Masada - Gimel (DIW, DIW-890, 1994, Japan, cd,

February 13, 2022
In the morning, Eurymedusa ventured forth to explore the island. She mistakenly supposed that she had followed the loggerhead across the length of the Great Sea and now found herself upon some far flung shore, perhaps distant Kypros. In truth, she had swum but a dozen leagues from Crete, to stand upon an uncharted spit of land, a breeding ground cherished by turtles and sea birds precisely because of its insignificance. Her white gown had survived a year intact largely by keeping to the water. She tied the hem above her knees lest she ruin it, tramping through the forest.

written while listening to:  Jim O'Rourke - Disengage, disc 2: A Young Person's Guide To Drowning (Staaltape/Korm Plastics, S.T.CD 048/KP 4292, 1992, The Netherlands, cdx2,

February 14, 2022
Unbidden, the trees offered boughs heavy with fruit, first plums then mulberries. By the time Eurymedusa encountered a wild pear tree, she had already satisfied her hunger. She mentally took note of its location for future reference, though retracing her steps had never been her strong suit. She plucked a pear to carry with her, should her premonition prove correct. She also spotted several nests in low-hanging branches. Above one, a pair of golden orioles danced nervously. On her tiptoes, she peered inside the cup and counted four spotted eggs. It seemed too easy to claim them and the parents' panic too keen, so she left them undisturbed.

written while listening to:  Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey - Buoyancy (Relative Pitch Records, RPR1048, 2016, United States, cd,

February 15, 2022
In the afternoon, Eurymedusa made her way back down to the beach. The mother turtle was long gone, though a few crabs scrambled from under exposed rocks. She sat, facing the sea, with her arms wrapped around her knees. The wind pushed strands of long black hair across her face then released them to fall back, before taking them up again. Eventually the colors of sunset illuminated her pale skin, for she felt no urge to abandon this sensation, so long absent, in which her thoughts were not dominated by the anxiety of a lurking threat.

written while listening to:  Lawrence "Butch" Morris - Testament: A Conduction Collection, disc 8: Conductions #38, 39 & 40 (New World Records/CounterCurrents, 80478-2, 1995, United States, cdx10+book,

February 16, 2022
An ambivalent Eurymedusa made her way under starlight to the cave. She felt both the timelessness of this paradise and the impossibility of sustaining it. She accepted the pleasure of her solitude while anticipating the loneliness to come. Although she found no flaw with a single aspect of her first day on the island, it recalled with eerie familiarity her life in the chill of the subterranean lake. When the thought occurred to her that, for the first time in a year, she had not spent even a minute swimming, she experienced an irrational fright. She raced back to the beach for a midnight dip.

written while listening to:  Pauline Oliveros - Reverberations: Tape & Electronic Music 1961-1970, disc 11: 50-50 (Important Records, IMPREC352, 2012, United States, cdx12,

February 17, 2022
Eurymedusa discovered a footprint in the cave. Too large to be her own, she reckoned that a barefoot man had tracked mud into the shelter. The print had dried and she could not determine its age. Upon closer inspection, she found a trail of prints, each one fainter than the last as the debris stuck to the foot had dwindled. Curiously, the path led past her water supply and disappeared into a descending tunnel. The invitation to wander into darkness again could not be denied. Still, Eurymedusa stifled this impulse, at least temporarily. She had not yet grown weary of her bright and solitary paradise.

written while listening to:  Judson Trio (Joëlle Léandre, Mat Maneri & Gerald Cleaver) - Light and Dance, disc 1 (RogueArt, ROG-0112, 2021, France, cdx2,

February 18, 2022
Too many unknowns existed for the discovery that she might not be the only person on this island to prompt an immediate response. Instead, Eurymedusa spent a happy day eating fruit on the beach while she idly enumerated the possible culprits: a haggard cast-away, an outlaw hiding from authorities, a long since drowned pirate who had once stashed somewhere in the cave a treasure chest full of silver diadems inlaid with amethysts, a reclusive aesthete pondering the mysteries of the universe, a lovelorn young man waiting for a lithesome maiden to wash ashore and collapse breathlessly into his arms.

written while listening to:  David Murray Big Band - Live at Sweet Basil Vol. 2 (Black Saint, BSR 0095, 1986, Italy, lp,

February 19, 2022
Within a matter of a few, uneventful days Eurymedusa succumbed to the temptation to venture deeper into the caverns. The darkness welcomed her like an old friend, wrapping its sable cloak around her shoulders. Free of trepidation, she felt confident that her former nemesis, the Minotaur, had no way of knowing her location, even in the unlikely event that its labyrinth extended this far beneath the sea. At the same time, she moved quietly and peered around corners before entering caverns, lest she recklessly announce herself to a band of unsavory rogues.

written while listening to:  Ornette Coleman - This Is Our Music (Atlantic, SD 1353, 1961, United States, lp,

February 20, 2022
Eurymedusa knew neither what she sought nor what she would find. In our endeavor to paint an honest portrait, we do not neglect to note her awareness of the aimlessness of her path. As she crept through the stone corridors, she began to suspect that what appeared ostensibly as decisions in her life were actually chance encounters with junctions in a predetermined labyrinth. It was absurd to claim a triumph in choosing to go left over right when both destinations were equally opaque. She was rescued from these mental circumlocutions by her arrival at a cavern illuminated by an otherworldly blue light.

written while listening to:  Anthony Braxton - Five Pieces 1975 (Arista, AL 4064, 1975, United States, lp,

February 21, 2022
Eurymedusa slowly approached two men, each seated on one of six rocks arranged symmetrically in a circle. They faced what might have been a campfire, save that no flame of the surface world had ever shed such a cold light. It cast a hue of palest blue and no flicker interrupted its steady glow. The men appeared to have been waiting in silence until, while still at a distance, their visitor intentionally scuffed a foot on the ground, alerting them to her presence. They looked up and one of them greeted her, saying, "So, you have finally arrived."

written while listening to:  Lê Quan Ninh - Ustensiles (For 4 Ears, CD 822, 1997, Switzerland, cd,

February 22, 2022
Without approaching nearer, Eurymedusa asked, "How did you know to expect me?"

One of the men unhurriedly rose to his feet, while the other remained seated. The blue light cast them both in watery shadows, making the discernment of their particular features difficult. Something in the silhouette of his stance and movement suggested surprise at her query. "Do you mean to say that you were not expecting us?" His tone was rhetorical if not distrustful. That she should stumble upon them by chance in the vast, subterranean darkness beggared belief.

written while listening to:  Paul Panhuysen - Long String Installations, sides C & D (Edition Telemark, 785.04, 2018, Germany, lpx3,

February 23, 2022
"In any case, you shall learn before long how we came to be waiting for you, but it is not for us to tell." The man spoke Greek with an island dialect rather than that of cosmopolitan Athens. He walked with a limp to the fire and picked up an amphora, which, to Eurymedusa's eyes, appeared to be formed of translucent glass. Familiar only with glass beads, the craftsmanship to cast such a vessel was foreign to her home. She pushed that thought aside, for light emerged from the amphora, a liquid that shifted with each uneven stride as it was carried toward her.

written while listening to:  Max Roach & Cecil Taylor - Historic Concerts, sides C & D (Soul Note, SN 1100/1101, 1984, Italy, lpx2,

February 24, 2022
They stood then face to face with the fluid blue light lapping over them. Eurymedusa examined the man before her. He was old, his swarthy complexion wrinkled and creased. Little but gray colored his beard. His right eye was lost to a milky glaze. He wore a strange headpiece, which appeared to be the wet, pinkish-white hide of a stuffed squid. Its mantle jutted at an angle from the crown of his head while its arms and tentacles dangled beside his face like tassels. In the flowing light, the tentacles swayed as if he donned not just a skin but a whole creature yet living upon his head.

written while listening to:  George Lewis & Bertram Turetzky - Conversations (Incus Records, CD32, 1998, United Kingdom, cd,

February 25, 2022
The old man too took this opportunity to examine their visitor. Her hair, parted in the middle, formed two black sheets with nary a curl on either side of her pale face. Awash in blue, her eyes were wide set, almond-shaped and darkly luminous. He found everything he sought in her eyes and scrutinized her no further. It seemed to him that a face of this kind he had not encountered in many a long year. His mind strayed to memories of village girls with whom he had played as a child.

written while listening to:  Marilyn Crispell & Irène Schweizer - Overlapping Hands: Eight Segments (FMP, FMP CD 30, 1991, Germany, cd,

February 26, 2022
With his companion lost in reverie, the younger man approached. To Eurymedusa, his mouth appeared set in a grimace—of dissatisfaction or merely disinterest she could not tell. His eyes too did not match, though both functioned, the iris of one eye being cerulean blue and the other the green of sea foam. Upon his close-shaven head perched a stuffed cephalopod of another sort. The suckers on the underside of the ornately patterned arms of an octopus stuck to his face. A pair of glistening, bulbous yellow eyes with pupils like overturned hourglasses peered fixedly from atop his head.

written while listening to:  Magda Mayas & Tina Douglas - Objects of Interest (Room40, RM4164, 2021, Australia, cd,

February 27, 2022
Though comparatively young, this man was perhaps a decade senior to Eurymedusa. He viewed her appearance in a different manner than had the older man. He surveyed first her high cheekbones and the line of her jaw then her delicate neck and shoulders. Following the white gown down her body to where it remained tied above her knees, his gaze next ran along her spindly calves and rested on her bare feet. She had the physique of a swimmer, though one too thin to describe as properly fed. He announced the completion of his inspection with an ambiguous sigh.

written while listening to:  John Coltrane - Meditations (Impulse!, AS-9110, 1966, United States, lp,

February 28, 2022
"Is she the one?" asked the octopus-crowned man, to which his squid-crowned companion replied, "There can be no doubt." There was a clear but unspoken understanding that they had come to collect Eurymedusa and they fully expected her to accompany them. To her surprise, they did not intend to lead her back to the surface. Instead, they descended down another steeply sloped tunnel. Eurymedusa was forced to make up her mind on the spot. She hurried after them lest she lose sight of their light.

written while listening to:  Fieldwork (Vijay Iyer, Elliot Humberto Kavee & Steve Lehman) - Simulated Progress (Pi Recordings, PI16, 2005, United States, cd,

previous month

next month

This work is made available to the public, free of charge and on an anonymous basis. However, copyright remains with the author. Reproduction and distribution without the publisher's consent is prohibited. Links to the work should be made to the main page of the score.